Dr Alessandro Rufini

Lecturer in Cancer Chemoprevention

Room 542, Level 5, Robert Kilpatrick Clinical Sciences Building
Leicester Royal Infirmary
Leicester LE2 7LX

Tel: +44 (0)116 252 3127

Fax: +44 (0)116 223 1855

Email: ar230@le.ac.uk

Personal details

  • BSc (Hons) (University of Rome La Sapienza)
  • PhD Universities of Calabria Consenza and Rome Tor Vergata


Our group aims at combining basic and clinical research to improve current strategies and design new approaches to cancer prevention.

Our work spans within three different research subjects:

  1. Dissecting the mechanism(s) of action of available chemopreventive agents such as aspirin and resveratrol.
  2. Investigating early stages of carcinogenesis to identify new potential targets for cancer prevention. In particular, we are interested in metabolic changes affecting early stages of neoplasia that might be exploited to design dietary or chemopreventive interventions.
  3. Finally, since the implementation of cancer preventive strategies relies on the availability of biomarkers for accurate, long-term follow-up, we are currently investigating the use of circulating-free DNA as biomarkers for cancer prevention.

To achieve these aims, we use mouse models of colorectal cancer (CC) based on inducible mutations of theproto-oncogenee Braf or the tumour suppressor Apc. These mice are pre-clinical models of CC with a striking similarity to the human disease. They also represent source for in-vitro intestinal organoids culture. These organoids grow three-dimensionally in matrigel and recapitulate the intestinal crypt-villus morphology, encompassing all cellular lineages. We can, therefore, treat the organoids with cancer preventive agents and study the morphological and physiological outcomes of treatments.

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Powerful pre-clinical platform for anti-cancer drug and biomarker discovery

Pre-clinical models that can accurately predict outcomes in the clinic are much sort after in the field of cancer drug discovery and development.  Read about how patient derived explants offer many advantages and are the powerful model of choice. A copy of the review, published in the British Journal of Cancer, is available by clicking this link: PDE Platform


SEND Study Success

Congratulations to Chris Avery, who with collaborating colleagues published findings of the SEND study, a multi-centre randomised trial using two different surgical protocols for mouth cancer treatment.  A nationwide first for this type of trial, using real-world data.  The paper, published in the British Journal of Cancer, is available by clicking this link: SEND Paper


Centre Health and Wellbeing Group
Join up for a walk on the park Friday lunchtime - details here.

More information from Jenny McNair jm65@le.ac.uk

Contact Details

Leicester Cancer Research Centre
Robert Kilpatrick Clinical Sciences Building
University of Leicester
Leicester Royal Infirmary
Leicester LE2 7LX

T: +44 (0) 116 252 3170
E: cancerstudies@le.ac.uk

(Please note this email address should not be used for clinical referrals or patient correspondence)

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